The Town of Suffield has announced a payment in lieu of dock fees agreement with Southwick. The payment covers costs for maintenance, policing and public safety associated with the use of Congamond Lake by Suffield residents. Congamond Lake is situated within the boundaries of both towns. The five-year memorandum of understanding includes a $2,000 annual fee (to increase by $200/year) paid by Suffield to Southwick that encompasses yearly licensing charges for Suffield residential property owners whose dock(s), swim float(s), mooring(s) or buoy(s) are located in Congamond Lake.
While the agreed upon payment relieves Suffield owners from their dock fees, town leadership emphasizes it does not relieve them from their obligation to register. Details regarding registering and obtaining the required annual sticker are in the works and will be made available shortly on the Town of Suffield website and Facebook.
The Suffield Board of Selectmen approved the initiative at its February 20, meeting. “I am delighted to have been able to negotiate this arrangement with Southwick and to resolve a decades-long quarrel that rears its head every spring,” commented Suffield First Selectman Melissa M. Mack. We can now refocus our energies on ensuring the safety of all residents enjoying beautiful Congamond Lake.”
The Town of Southwick’s Conservation Commission oversees the Local Permitting Program (LPP) under State Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) authority. Fees collected fund lake enforcement/improvements only, as stipulated by law. The negotiated rate amounts to less than Southwick would receive in total for each Suffield registration but represents a significant savings in administrative time, hassle and ongoing legal fees. For Suffield, the compromise resolves the issue and promises a commitment to public safety. The agreement settles all disputes and waives Southwick’s right to seek enforcement of any prior LPP nonpayment, penalties, fines, etc. of Suffield property owners.
For additional information, contact Kim Worthington at 860-668-3838.